Topic: ron sims
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June 27, 2013 at 10:07 AM
Former King County Executive Ron Sims Thursday threw his support in the Seattle mayor’s race to State Sen. Ed Murray, citing Murray’s ability to build coalitions to improve transportation and the city’s schools.
“I really was enthusiastic about endorsing him. I want him to be the next mayor of Seattle,” said Sims, who retired last year as Deputy Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.
Speaking at Murray’s campaign headquarters on Capitol Hill, Sims praised Murray’s vision and leadership and said Murray was the only politician to approach him about solving problems in the city’s schools, rather than as an African American politician with clout in the black community. Sims noted that other mayors including New York City’s Michael Bloomberg and Chicago’s Rahm Emanuel, had gotten involved in improving their city’s public schools.
“They know if you don’t have great schools, you can’t have a great city,” Sims said.
Sims also pointed to Murray’s work in the Legislature to win transportation funding for light rail, buses and to replace the Highway 99 viaduct with a deep-bore tunnel.
“He’s the one person able to form a coalition and get transportation done,” Sims said.
Sims had contemplated jumping into the crowded mayor’s race earlier this spring and in one early poll was even leading, despite not being a candidate. Murray called Sims’ support “the most significant endorsement I will receive during the race.”
Murray has picked up a string of key endorsements this week, including from the Greater Metropolitan Seattle Chamber of Commerce and the Washington Conservation Voters.
The Sims endorsement will be a particular disappointment to City Councilmember Bruce Harrell, who has described Sims as a friend and a mentor. Mayor Mike McGinn has also sought the votes of the city’s ethnic and immigrant communities.
In endorsing Murray, Sims said he wasn’t “anti-McGinn.” But he did say that under McGinn’s leadership the city has “lost its flash” and ran the risk of ending up a city in decline such as Gary, Ind. or Cleveland. And he said the current bickering and tension in city government makes it a less appealing place for the federal government to make investments.
“Seattle had a reputation in the past as being able to pull the whole region behind it. Those coalitions are gone. It’s hard to pull people together, but Senator Murray has proven he can do it again and again.”
March 11, 2013 at 10:44 AM
Former King County Executive Ron Sims squashed months of speculation this morning, saying he will not run for mayor of Seattle in 2013.
In an interview on KUOW’s Weekday with host Steve Scher, Sims kept the suspense going for a while, making a passionate case that the next mayor ought to use the “bully pulpit” to demand “world class schools.” He talked up his own record at the county and said Seattle “needs some vision.”
But at the end of the interview, Sims said he will not run for mayor this year. ”There are other mountains I want to climb,” he said.
Sims served three terms as King County Executive before leaving in 2009 to take the job of deputy secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in the Obama administration.
He resigned from that post in 2011, citing the difficulty of spending so much time away from his family. Speculation about Sims as a potential 2013 mayoral candidate has swirled ever since.
A poll for KING 5 television last week suggested Sims would start the race atop the pack of challengers to Mayor Mike McGinn. The Survey USA poll found Sims tied with McGinn at 15 percent support in the crowded field (though 34 percent of voters described themselves as undecided).
Sims’ announcement could benefit McGinn — whom the poll indicated likely would attract the largest share of Sims’ supporters.
And the mayor’s rivals also will breathe a sigh of relief.
McGinn already faces seven announced challengers: City Councilmembers Tim Burgess and Bruce Harrell, former City Councilmember Peter Steinbrueck, state Sen. Ed Murray, businessman Charlie Staadecker, artist David Ishii and Greenwood activist Kate Martin.
March 7, 2013 at 3:43 PM
A new Survey USA poll conducted for KING 5 finds weak numbers for Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn as he heads into his re-election campaign.
The poll of 647 registered voters, which tested McGinn against several announced and rumored rivals, found just 15 percent of voters said they’d support the incumbent. That was tied with former King County Executive Ron Sims, who has so far announced no plans to run. Seattle City Councilmember Tim Burgess, who has announced his campaign, placed third with 10 percent support.
The rest of the field, including state Sen. Ed Murray, Councilmember Bruce Harrell and former Councilmember Peter Steinbrueck, managed only single-digit support. And 34 percent of voters said they are simply undecided.
December 11, 2012 at 1:20 PM
In his keynote speech at Tuesday’s Urban League breakfast, former King County Executive Ron Sims, who has been considering a run against Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn, didn’t mention the race.
Sims, who served most recently as deputy secretary of U.S. Housing and Urban Development, instead blasted the region’s public schools, saying they are creating a generation of “haves and have nots.”
The breakfast marked a resurgence for the local Urban League chapter, which canceled its annual fundraiser last year amid questions about spending for city of Seattle and Seattle Public Schools contracts, staff layoffs, and a loss of leadership.
New President and CEO Pamela Banks said the theme of the breakfast, “A Return to Basics,” was meant to emphasize the League’s traditional mission of empowering African Americans and other disadvantaged people through housing, education and job training.
One of the people Banks recruited to the reconstituted board of directors, businessman Nate Miles, proclaimed, “This is the Seattle Urban League and we are back.”
In a speech that focused on the failure of local schools, Sims said that many countries around the world do a better job of educating their children than does Seattle. He cited Finland as having one of the outstanding education systems and said school administrators there they don’t suspend or expel students for bad behavior. Rather, they intervene in the earliest grades, with social workers and psychologists, to train kids how to behave and to address their problems.
The bright spot he said he sees in the Seattle Public Schools are the international schools that immerse students in a foreign language. He said the ability to learn has nothing to do with income. “Poor kids all over the world speak two and three languages.” Learning in these schools, he said, isn’t hard, but fun. The children in these schools have significantly higher test scores.
Sims said the schools should teach the languages of the future world economies – Mandarin, Hindi, Japanese and Spanish — if Seattle wants to adequately prepare its students.
Sims did suggest a role for city government. He noted that Seattle has repeatedly passed a Families and Education Levy. Levy money should go to teach foreign languages and to hire counselors to intercede with struggling students and help keep them in school.
“We can sit here breakfast after breakfast” talking about the need for change and the achievement gap for students of color, Sims said. “If you want to see change, educate kids.”
November 30, 2012 at 6:00 AM
Good Morning. Happy Friday.
Who’s running for Seattle mayor in 2013? Lots of people. And some are just toying with the idea before, well, likely running. Former Seattle City Council member — or should I say, friends of Steinbrueck — have launched a beg-Peter-to-run Facebook page. Publicola has more details. Scroll down a bit. The other candidate who may not be able to resist the mayoral temptation is former King County Executive Ron Sims. Don’t miss the inside-baseball fight over where and how City Councilmember Tim Burgess made his announcement for mayor this week.
Running Olympia: As Olympia watchers have probably heard, state Sen. Ed Murray was elected by fellow Dems to be Senate majority leader. That sounds so simple, until you consider two other events, the squeaky close, gotta-do-a-recount race in the 17th Legislative District in Vancouver. State Sen. Don Benton, a Republican, is currently ahead of Democrat Tim Probst, by 78 votes. The recount is next week. So, I know, who is staying awake at night wondering if Benton wins or loses? Murray, probably. A couple of moderate Dems are threatening to join Republicans in the Senate and install one of the Dems, Sen. Rodney Tom of Medina, as the majority leader of some sort of coalition group in the Senate.
Sen. Murray is obviously trying to work around that while keeping himself as majority leader. So he offers committee assignments to folks he wants to keep, win over, whatever.
The world according to Grover Norquist: A bunch of Republican members of Congress are having second thoughts about their never-raise-taxes pledge with anti-tax crusader Grover Norquist. Seattle Weekly has an interesting piece tying that development to an alleged weariness of anti-tax crusaders in general, i.e., Washington’s own Tim Eyman. But, but, but. Didn’t voters just say yes in big numbers to Eyman’s latest offering, Initiative 1185, the measure that re-instates the two-thirds requirement to raise taxes in our Legislature? Yes, they did.
Politico has a piece arguing that Grover’s not over.
November 13, 2012 at 11:44 AM
Local realtor Charlie Staadecker reports he has raised $40,000 in the first month of his 2013 campaign for Seattle mayor.
Staadecker, 69, of Mount Baker, runs a commercial real estate firm. His campaign kicked off a month ago with a theme song and four pillars: education, jobs and economic security, quality of life, and safety and core services. About 40 percent of Staadecker’s contributors are retired, and about half of them gave the maximum amount: $700.
It’s an early indication of support for a little-known candidate in what is likely to become a race crowded with familiar names. Mayor Mike McGinn’s perceived unpopularity has made way for a long list of local elected officials considering a run for mayor in 2013. Seattle City Council members Tim Burgess and Bruce Harrell are both thinking about it, along with state Sen. Ed Murray, who is just off a big win as a leader if the Referendum 74 campaign for gay marriage.
Former City Council member Peter Steinbrueck has said he may run, and this week, after years outside the public eye, he is launching into public civic engagement about proposed plans for South Lake Union. On his Facebook page, Steinbrueck has questioned proposed zoning for the neighborhood and is urging people to turn out for a Wednesday public hearing. Former King County Executive Ron Sims also has expressed an interest in the race.
McGinn reported raising almost $80,000 at the end of October, but he has spent more than half of that. At the same point in former Mayor Greg Nickels’ last campaign in 2008, he had similar low approval ratings in polls, but he had raised almost $270,000. He lost in the primary.
McGinn ran a famously cheap underdog campaign in 2009, winning with only $290,000 total.
July 11, 2012 at 6:05 AM
Former state Sen. Cheryl Pflug is unhappy — really unhappy -- that former Republican gubernatorial candidate Dino Rossi was named interim fill-in for her old Senate seat, serving until the next election is certified. Keep in mind that wouldn’t include a legislative session or vote, as far as anybody can tell. He would, however, engage in constituent services.
Pflug, a Republican, issued a strongly worded press release, in which she said she had “grave concerns” about Rossi’s appointment.
“The Senate appointment should be about constituent service, not about using a state office for campaign purposes. I’m a Republican. I believe Rob McKenna will be a great governor because he’s honest, and he’s a brilliant unifier.”
Some background: Pflug had a break with the Republican Party, starting with her vote in favor of gay marriage last winter. She then aggravated the state party chairman, Kirby Wilbur, by not telling party leaders about her plan to leave the Senate until after the Friday filing deadline in May. She bolted from the race the following Monday, when it was too late to fill with a better-known Republican than the person who did file, Brad Toft.
Pflug is taking a job with the Washington Growth Management Hearings Board. That would have – could have — been the end of it, but Pflug is also endorsing the Democrat in the race, Issaquah Councilman Mark Mullet.
What does that have to do with Rossi? Pflug says Rossi is helping Toft. She wanted another Republican from the 5th legislative district, former King County Councilmember David Irons, to fill the seat. Rossi was sworn in Tuesday afternoon.
Wilbur was not kind in response: “Nobody considers her a Republican anymore after what she did to the party,” he said, referring to not telling anyone about her job plans until after filing closed.
Wilbur said, “Cheryl should keep her irrelevant thoughts to herself –- no one cares.”
Not all is copasetic in Democratic circles, either. Former King County Executive Ron Sims and former Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels were tight when they both pushed for Sound Transit light rail. But Sims is backing another Democrat, Kathleen Drew, in the Secretary of State’s race.
What’s that about?
“Kathleen asked me a long time ago (to support her), well before Greg announced,” Sims said. “She asked me when Greg wasn’t even thinking about it; I kept my word.”
Sims also said he thought Drew would be electable statewide, and he supported some of her positions for managing the elections office.
Those scrappy, biting political writers at Publicola are back. After bouncing around the online journalism universe — from Publicola.com to Crosscut.com to the new home Publicola@SeattleMet — Josh Feit and Erica Barnett have returned. Here is the link.
The Secretary of State’s office is not printing a voter’s guide for the August primary, although many counties are. The Secretary of State’s office is offering an online video voter’s guide. Take a look.
If you have a moment, like us on Facebook. Seattle Times Politics: Election 2012
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